09/26/2014 8:42 AM

The Spencer Municipal Utilities (SMU) board of trustees reached a consensus last March to move forward with an estimated $14 million, 2 ½ year project to update the water treatment facility. The planning stage took longer than anticipated and a construction contract for the two new wells as well as phase I of the project have been awarded with construction starting yet this fall.

The updates to the water treatment facility and processes will increase treatment capacity, expand the raw water source, reliability, safety and lime handling of the system when construction is complete for SMU.

“To continue to meet the growing needs of customers we feel it is time to update our water utility and prepare for the future needs of customers as well as economic development for the community,” says Amanda Gloyd, marketing & community relations manager.

The current plant was built in 1970 with a couple significant upgrades since, however it is not equipped to handle our peak of 2.5-2.6 mg/day which we experience several months each year.

Construction will begin yet this fall on drilling the two new wells as the process has been started to retire a couple wells to continue to maintain eight wells to get water from the alluvial aquifer source near the Spencer Airport.

Construction will also begin this fall on phase I of the water treatment facility located on 32nd Avenue West in Spencer and will continue through the winter months. The second and final phase of the project is expected to start sometime in 2015.

“We anticipate continuing to keep customers informed of the progress as they may be impacted by the construction at times,” adds Gloyd.

SMU has been planning for this project financially with recent rate adjustments and the majority of the project is being financed through a State Revolving Fund (SRF) as a low interest 20 year loan. The customer charge increased by $5.00 June 1, 2013 and again on January 1, 2014. These increases were put in place to provide verification to SRF that the rates were set to allow us to repay the money borrowed. At this time there are no additional customer charge increases being planned to fund the water treatment facility project.

Spencer Municipal Utilities is a leading provider of cable, internet, telephone and iWireless cellular service in the Spencer community and has been providing water since 1886 and electric services since 1901.

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